Report on the Meeting of the Board of Trustees

San Jose, March 14-15, 2000
Harold Goldwhite, Faculty Trustee


The Board of Trustees of the CSU met on the campus of San Jose State University on March 14 and 15, 2000. The new student trustee Neel "Bubba" Murarka was introduced, and the reappointment of the faculty trustee was noted. My report to the Senate mentioned many of the most significant agenda items, of which the disposition is now known. After closed sessions considering nominees for honorary degrees and an executive review, the Committee of the Whole received a warm welcome from administrative, faculty, and student representatives from San Jose. The litigation report was presented for information.

An unusually long and vigorous meeting of the Committee on Educational Policy followed. On the action item on Review of Enrollment Policies, Chair Dinielli persuasively argued for inclusion in the introduction to the resolution language clarifying the difference between the Work Group’s proposal and the Senate’s adopted positions. That was agreed to. I then moved an amendment to change the language of the resolution, guaranteeing admission to "local" student applicants, to language corresponding to the Senate’s recommendation for their priority consideration. After extended debate the amendment failed (by a large margin). The Committee then adopted the resolution for presentation to the Board next day.

The remediation report was well received (and has had considerable press coverage). The improvement in mathematics preparation of incoming freshman is significant. On Community Service, responding to the Governor’s Call, administration, students, and faculty were united in support of the resolution, which passed, requiring "each CSU President to ensure that all students have opportunities to participate in community service, service learning (deemed academically appropriate by faculty) or both" and also endorsing "campus efforts to make service an expectation, condition, or requirement for the undergraduate education experience…"

The report on Academic Plans was also approved with little discussion.

The Committee on Finance heard a report on the 2000/01 support budget, and a letter to the Director of the Dept. of finance was released indicating requests for some $350 million in one-time requests, and $182 million in on-going funding! At a Senate budget Committee hearing last week many of the CSU requests were placed on a list for budget augmentations (though, I hasten to add, nowhere near $530 million worth) and the legislative analyst’s recommendations for reductions in the CSU budget were essentially ignored.

On Student Fee policy, where the proposal for action was the elimination of the one-third set-aside for student aid from student-based programs funded from student body association fees, I barely received a second for my motion to postpone to the May Board meeting in order to get Senate input. The postponement failed, and the item passed (I abstained). The Chancellor apologized publicly and accepted responsibility for the failure to consult the Senate.

The Legislative Report to the Committee on Governmental Relations analyzed the results of the March primaries and the propositions.

On Wednesday at the Board Meeting, Assembly Speaker Villaraigosa was present to receive a resolution of commendation for his work on behalf of all levels of education. Board Chair Hauk, on the second anniversary of Chancellor Reed’s appointment, reviewed the progress made by CSU in the past two years. In purely fiscal terms it has been the best two years since the mid-1980’s with a gain in general fund budget of 22%, and an increase in the faculty salary pool of 11.7%.

During the Chancellor’s report he stressed the need for the CSU community to speak with one voice in Sacramento, a sentiment that was echoed by Susan Meisenhelder, CFA President, during public comment. (I would only add, parenthetically, that it was a pity that the Board meetings were so tightly structured that there was no opportunity for Board members to meet informally with students and faculty or to participate even in a token manner in the CFA hearings on the future of the CSU that were taking place all day Tuesday March 14.)

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